A second gravitational wave has been detected by LIGO

The LIGO team reported on June 15, 2016, their second confirmed detection of coalescing binary black hole pair generating a gravitational wave. This was published in Physical Review Letters,1 with an abstract that reads (with some editing in […]’s and emphases added):

We report the observation of a gravitational-wave signal produced by the coalescence of two stellar-mass black holes. The signal, GW151226, was observed by the twin detectors of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) on December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC. The signal was initially identified within 70 s by an online matched-filter search targeting binary coalescences. Subsequent off-line analyses recovered GW151226 with a network signal-to-noise ratio of 13 and a significance greater than 5σ. The signal persisted in the LIGO frequency band for approximately 1 s, increasing in frequency and amplitude over about 55 cycles from 35 to 450 Hz, and reached a peak gravitational strain of [about] 3.4 × 10-22. The inferred source-frame initial black hole masses are 14.2  and 7.5 [solar masses, i.e. mass of the sun], and the final black hole mass is 20.8 [solar masses]. We find that at least one of the component black holes has spin greater than 0.2. This source is located at a luminosity distance of 440  Mpc [about 1.4 billion light-years] corresponding to a redshift of 0.09±0.03. All uncertainties define a 90% credible interval.

second g wave

Estimated gravitational-wave strain from GW151226 projected onto the LIGO Livingston detector with times relative to December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53.648 UTC. This shows the full bandwidth, without the filtering used for Fig. 1. Top: The 90% credible region for a nonprecessing spin waveform-model reconstruction (gray) and a direct, nonprecessing numerical solution of Einstein’s equations (red) with parameters consistent with the 90% credible region. Bottom: The gravitational-wave frequency f (left axis) computed from the numerical-relativity waveform. The cross denotes the location of the maximum of the waveform amplitude, approximately coincident with the merger of the two black holes. During the inspiral, f can be related to an effective relative velocity (right axis) given by the post-Newtonian parameter v/c=(GMπf/c^3)^1/3 , where M is the total mass. (Click on image for larger version.)

This result further strengthens the argument for stellar mass size black holes and for their correct prediction by Einstein’s general relativity. As I have written before this largely falls into the category of operational science. Some assumptions are necessarily required, but the waveform (see right) extracted from the received signal very precisely matches the expected waveform. Read What impact does the detection of gravitational waves have on biblical creation?2 Continue reading

Where materialism logically leads

First there was dark matter, then came dark energy, then dark photons and now there is talk of dark stars, dark planets and even dark intelligent life, in a whole dark galaxy within our Milky Way galaxy.

Starry Night

Figure 1: (Caption excerpted from Ref. 1) Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry night’ painting blends reality with an other-worldly starry universe. (Photo: Museum of Modern Art, made available by Wikimedia Commons)

In an article musing on such claims,1 where the van Gogh painting “Starry night” is highlighted, in the caption to the painting is written, “Perhaps he knew something about the nature of the universe that we are just beginning to understand.” As much as I like the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, I don’t think he knew or envisaged, in the swirls illustrated in his painting (Fig. 1), anything about invisible dark matter or a dark galaxy within ours. To suggest otherwise surely must be a joke, because physicists today know nothing about so-called dark matter and dark energy. It is called dark not because of what they don’t know, but because of what they do know.

This ludicrous situation has developed in astrophysics because of the initial assumption of materialism (matter and energy is all there is) and the dogmatic insistence that it must be rigorously applied to the origin and structure of this universe. As a result when physicists observe the rotation speeds of stars not only in our own galaxy but also in many thousands of other spiral galaxies they find that the stars in the spiral disks are moving too fast. They are moving so fast that in the assumed lifetimes of the galaxies, of order 10 billion years, the galaxies should have been eviscerated because their stars should have flown away from the galaxies, which could not hold onto them.

halo DM

Figure 2: Alleged spherical halo of dark matter around a typical spiral galaxy.

To fix this, the standard approach is to posit the existence, around every galaxy, of a spherical halo of dark matter (see Fig. 2), that has just the right density, distribution and gravitational properties to solve the conundrum but neither emits nor interacts with electromagnetic radiation. Because astrophysicists cannot explain these high rotational velocities with standard tried-and-tested Newtonian physics, they have concocted the notion that galaxies really comprise between 80% to 90% dark matter—stuff that is everywhere but we cannot see or detect it by any method.2 The article1 states that the majority of today’s physicists believe this. That may well be the case, but I don’t and I’m sure I qualify as a real physicist.3 In any event, truth is not determined by majority opinion.4 Continue reading

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…so the story goes

This time the story is about a galaxy of a billion stars that is allegedly seen from a time only 402 million years after the big bang. The galaxy is called GN-z11 because it supposedly has a redshift of 11.1,1 measured with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). That is the highest redshift assigned to any galaxy to date, and according to big bang cosmology it corresponds to a distance of about 13.4 billion light-years. It allegedly extends the time of observation of the universe back a further 150 million years than previously known. It also places the epoch of this galaxy in the period of predicted formation of a huge number of stars and galaxy formation built from these first stars formed after the alleged big bang.2

GNz11

Figure 1: That blurry image is of a galaxy so far away it dates closer to the Big Bang, from a time when the universe was a mere toddler of about 400 million years old (so reads the caption from Ref. 6) . Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute via AP.

In a new analysis of the publicly available CANDELS data3 over the GOODS fields,4 a team of astronomers, with lead author Oesch,1 identified six relatively bright galaxies with best-fit photometric redshifts z = 9.2—10.2.  But photometric redshift determinations are very model dependent and not so conclusive, so they chose the intrinsically brightest of them for 12 orbit passes of the HST, to collect grism5 spectroscopic data and more accurately measure its redshift. This galaxy (now called GN-z11) was previously labelled GN-z10-1. It was previously given a photometric redshift zphot = 10.2. It has strong emission in the infrared consistent with a very bright ultra-violet galaxy after taking in to account stretching of the source optical wavelengths down to the infrared. See Fig. 1.

The authors in their paper write:1

GN-z11 is remarkably and unexpectedly luminous for a galaxy at such an early time:

It is about three times brighter than expected for the time of its alleged existence only 400 million years after the big bang. Early in the alleged big bang history, the first stars were supposed to have formed into small nondescript galaxies. They are meant to have many ‘young’ stars but since the galaxies are not meant to be very large it also follows that they should not be very bright. They’re expected to have grown large later by mergers with other galaxies, where galaxy size is correlated with its intrinsic brightness. In this case the GN-z11 galaxy has the intrinsic brightness of a galaxy observed at a redshift near z = 7, at a time when the big bang universe is three times larger. Thus it follows that the only galaxy they have identified at the epoch of 400 million years after the big bang is three times brighter than galaxies when the universe is allegedly much older and when galaxies should be much larger and hence brighter. This means “galaxy evolution” has worked too fast on this newly discovered galaxy. It is the opposite of what is expected.

Is the measurement solid?

Continue reading

Planetary system formation: exposing naturalistic storytelling

Attempts to explain how stars form naturalistically have encountered significant challenges because the known laws of physics indicate it is virtually impossible.1  There is a remote possibility for star formation via the mechanism of a nearby supernova, but dark matter is generally invoked as the ‘unknown god’, a ‘god of the gaps’ to make it work, because such events are extremely unlikely.Without this ‘unknown god’ in their uncreated universe, the formation of the star at the centre of a planetary nebula is essentially impossible. It also follows that planet formation has a similar problem. How do planets form in a nebula of gas and dust, which according to the known laws of physics cannot condense a star at its centre?

More importantly, how do you get a solar system with planets in habitable zones?  Radiation from the newly born star would drive out any excess gas and dust from the path of the planets via photo-evaporation and stellar winds, making the formation of planets very unlikely. The planets allegedly condense via the core accretion model resulting in (in some cases) a habitable planet in the habitable zone, at the right distance from the parent star where water can exist in its liquid state.3 Then water is assumed to condense on the surface of that new planet, but by what mechanism?  Ultimately this is a question about life elsewhere in the Universe. But I digress.

By product of star formation

solar sytem formation

Figure 1: Illustration of the star formation story. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Standard astrophysical dogma is that planets form around stars as a natural by-product of the star formation process.4 But there are several problems.

For the initial molecular cloud to collapse, and eventually form a star, the cloud must eliminate any magnetic fields (due to unpaired charges) that oppose the collapse. The alleged process, which removes any magnetic field induced pressure from molecular clouds, entails the ions that carry the magnetic fields slowly diffusing out of the cloud, taking the magnetic fields with them.5

But these same magnetic fields are invoked to shuttle the angular momentum from the newly forming star, at the centre of the cloud, outward into the disk region of the solar nebula, to overcome another unsolved problem. This is the angular momentum problem, where the putative central star should have 99% of the angular momentum of the collapsing cloud, but in real observed solar systems like our own, 99% of the angular momentum resides in the planets, hence in the disk of material around the central star. Their suggested naturalistic solution to this problem is just-so storytelling. See below. Continue reading

A letter from a reader

The following is a letter from a reader of Bible Science Forum with my comments in square brackets […].

UniLecture1004May I take the liberty of suggesting that you should be a theologian teaching the simplicity of faith – Christian faith – Belief in The Redeemer – if one believes in the Redeemer, one believes in His Word – that He is the Truth, the Way and the Life – will believe Him when He says that He is the Creator –  believe His account of Creation week.

The entire faith hinges on just Belief – HE is The Redeemer; yet man prefers unbelief or lies.

Scientific concepts:

The sum of all natural numbers 1+2+3+4+…. ∞ =  -1/12
And they prove that by starting with [the series sum] 1-1+1-1….∞ = 1/2. Depending on whether the series is stopped at a positive or a negative number will determine whether the initial answer is 0 or 1; therefore an average of 1/2 is taken as the final answer.
Then they do a few other series of steps and voila — the sum of all natural numbers 1+2+3+4+…. ∞ =  -1/12.
1
Non-measurability: The one-way speed of light from a star or galaxy –  as a continuous ray or wave from the original that can never be replicated, a one-way speed is not directly measurable and thus physicists assuming uniformitarianism resort to use the ECS (and hence the two-way speed of light) as a convention (as you have so convincingly established).  [See How do we see distant galaxies in a 6000 year old universe?
1
These are just a few of the assumptions made for each and every scientific theory which people have to accept as far better the Gospel truth. We swallow — hook, line and sinker.

Continue reading

The distances to quasars

Mark 205

Figure 1: False colour image of Markarian 205, a peculiar galaxy imaged in X-rays, shown with several quasars enveloped within its hydrogen gas envelope. Credit: H. Arp, “Seeing Red”, Apeiron.

What can we say about the distances of quasars? This is an important question. According to standard big bang cosmology, due to cosmological expansion of the Universe, the very high redshifts of quasars place them at very great distances. If however even one example could be shown that contradicts the standard “greater the redshift the greater the distance” rule then it would undermine the fundamental foundation of the Standard Model of big bang cosmology. It follows that most of the very high redshift objects in the cosmos may not be so distant. And that would radically change our interpretation of the alleged big bang universe.

One such example that contradicts the Standard Model is shown in Fig. 1. The late Halton Arp spent his 60-year research career looking at peculiar galaxies, which he believed contradicted the standard big bang assumptions. Markarian 205 is such a peculiar galaxy within which are seen three quasars. Markarian 205 has a redshift of z = 0.07 but the quasars z = 1.26, 0.63 and 0.46. According to the Standard Model the high redshift quasars should be many billions of light-years behind Markarian 205, but they are clearly seen enveloped in the X-ray emitting hydrogen gas around the galaxy (as indicated by the white arrows).

Lyman-α forest

Arp’s hypothesis, that quasars and active galactic nuclei (AGNs1) have a very large intrinsic component to their redshifts, which is unrelated to their cosmic distance from Earth, is strongly rejected by the Standard Model (big bang) community. In relation to this question I received the following from a reader of my website.2

It is claimed, that the many lines of the Lyman alpha forest in the spectrum of most quasars prove that they are very far away. Also, it is claimed that increasing Lyman alpha forest lines is connected with increased magnitude of redshift, so supporting large distances. Is that observational true?

Continue reading

The earth is not flat and hangs upon nothing!

What do we understand when we read Job 26:7?

He stretches out the north over the empty place [תּוֹהוּ tohuw, nothing], and hangs the earth upon nothing. (KJVER)

We are told two things. One is that the Lord stretched the north over an empty place and the second is that He hung the earth upon nothing.

37456337.EarthBig

Earth suspended in space, a picture taken from space. Credit: NASA.

From astronomy we know that the planet is hung on nothing. It is freely orbiting around the sun. In the gravitational field of the sun it is actually falling towards the sun but because of its speed it moves in a stable orbit. But nothing holds it up, because there is no up or down in space.

The direction we give to the north or south are convenient terms, but north is not any more important than south. What is truly amazing though is the fact that the Scriptures have such a statement, when more than 3,000 years ago, around the time the book of Job was written, the ‘science’ of the day (actually myths in Hindu culture) taught the earth was held on the back of four giant male elephants who stood on the back of a giant female turtle. That is probably where they get their elephant god from. And then there is in the ancient Greek mythology, Atlas, a giant Titan god, who held the earth on his back. But the Bible does not describe a fanciful myth but describes what we know to be true. Continue reading